Reservist

ISS1 2019

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Bernadou, to investigate the situation with his torpedo boat. Fifth of the Foote-class of swift torpedo boats, Winslow seemed perfectly suited to capture or destroy the Spanish gunboats. The torpedo boat carried one-pound rapid-fire guns and torpedoes, and drew only five feet. Winslow also carried a crew of twenty enlisted men and two officers, including Ensign Worth Bagley, executive officer and member of a distinguished North Carolina military family that included brother-in-law Josephus Daniels, future Secretary of the Navy. As often happens in combat, the original plan of attack fell apart after the fighting began. Bernadou backed the stern of Winslow toward Cardenas, likely to minimize exposure to the enemy, make use of the stern-mounted torpedo and allow for a fast exit strategy. However, as soon as Winslow came within 1,500 yards of the city's wharves, Bernadou found himself between white range buoys deployed by Spanish artillerymen to aim their guns. The enemy gunners opened fire with one-pound guns on board the moored gunboats and salvoes fired from heavier artillery hidden along Cardenas's waterfront. After witnessing the initial salvoes, Hudson steamed at top speed from the bay's eastern side and Newcomb requested permission from Todd to engage the enemy. By 2:00 p.m., the Spanish gunboats and artillery had engaged the Winslow, with her one-pounders; Hudson, with her six- pounders; and the distant Wilmington, with her heavier four-inch guns. According to an eyewitness account, Spanish guns rained shells down from half-a-dozen directions, but the enemy positions were tough to spot because the Spanish used smokeless powder. The Americans relied on outdated black powder ammunition, which clouded the gun crews' view of battle and alerted the enemy of incoming shells. During the battle, 2nd Lt. James Hutchinson Scott and 3rd Lt. Ernest Meade commanded Hudson's six-pound deck guns. As the fog of war increased, Second Assistant Engineer Theodore Lewton mounted the deckhouse located behind the pilothouse to help Newcomb navigate the shallow bay and identify friend and foe through the smoke of Hudson's guns. Sixteen-year-old Ship's Boy Moses Jones fed ammunition to the main guns without hesitation and Ship's Steward Henry Savage passed up shells from the cutter's magazine. A veteran of the Civil War, Savage shouted up to Lewton, "Hot time in the old town tonight, Mr. Lewton!" As Newcomb later wrote, "Each and every member of Hudson's crew . . . did his whole duty cheerfully and without the least hesitation." As the battle raged, Spanish gunners focused their fire on Winslow. Enemy shells wrought destruction on the torpedo boat, shooting down her smokestack and ventilator and disabling her steering gear, engines and armored conning tower. In addition to the battle damage, a strong breeze was pushing the crippled vessel toward shore and shallow water. Lt. Bernadou called out to the approaching Hudson, "I am injured; haul me out." Newcomb reacted instantly, steering Hudson through the muddy shallows and churning up brown water with her propeller. The cutter The new torpedo boat USS Winslow was stationed at Norfolk, Va., at the start of the Spanish-American War. Like all other Navy torpedo boats of the time, the hull of the Norfolk-based torpedo boat was always painted a distinctive olive green color. ` (U.S. Navy photo.) Lieutenant John Bernadou served as Winslow's €rst commanding of€cer. (U.S. Navy photo.) 54 RESERVIST � Issue 1 • 2019

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